April 24, 2009

Dear Sandy Cunningham and Book Festival Volunteers

I consider it an extreme privilege to have the opportunity to recommend Literacy Book Festivals to anyone that works with children! I want to express our deep appreciation for the excitement and pleasure Sandy and her volunteers bring to our school and to other schools during Book Festival! Our children get very excited because they know they will have a special day planned just for them.

Sand and volunteers do an excellent job of planning out every event, and making sure everything connects together for the benefit of kids. I am continually amazed how they do all the work and all we have to do is provide the space! Volunteer workers come in the night before to setup the spaces and then come early the next morning to put the final finishing focus on detail!

When the doors open for the Book Fair, students and parents sign in and begin investigating the variety of booths and events that are prepared for them. Volunteers always have smiles on their faces and truly display an excitement of service to our families. There is such a high level of enthusiasm from the volunteers that it becomes infectious for our students.

As you walk through the hallways you'll see face painting, crafts, nail polishing, balloons, leatherwork, and other special booths designed to make the event entirely focused on kids. My favorite area is the Book Choice tables. Every child is allowed to choose new or gently used books to add or create their own personal home reading library. Many students leave this area already reading their choices.

Before students and their parents leave, they are encourages to grab a quick lunch and wait for the final drawing event. When you sit in the gym you will feel the radiation of anticipation as time gets closer and closer to the drawings.

Again, there is no way in which I can fully express our appreciation for this special gift Sandy and her volunteers give to this family event. The gift of volunteering in the Book Festival goes far beyond one day. Kids know that there are adults out there that care enough to give them a special time focused on literacy. Volunteers give our kids a deeper sense of value and worth.


Lora E. Hopper, Principal
Portland Elementary

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